March 3, 2004
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College Baseball Links:
Mar. 5 vs. East Carolina, 7 p.m. MST
ECU - Brody Taylor, LHP (2-0, 2.41 ERA)
ASU - Jeff Mousser, RHP (1-0, 1.99 ERA)
Mar. 6 vs. East Carolina, 1 p.m. MST
ECU - Greg Bunn, RHP (2-0, 1.04 ERA)
ASU - Jason Urquidez, RHP (4-0, 1.17 ERA)
Mar. 7 vs. East Carolina, 1 p.m. MST
ECU - Ricky Brooks, RHP (1-0, 2.57 ERA)
ASU - Pat Cassa, LHP (1-1, 2.60 ERA)
National Polls (Mar. 1, 2004)
Arizona State (12-2) enters the ECU series as a consensus top 10 team in the nation in all four national polls. ASU ranks as high as No. 6 by Collegiate Baseball and Sports Weekly. The Devils also moved up two spots to No. 10 by Baseball America and moved up one spot to No. 7 by NCBWA. The Sun Devils have now been ranked in the national polls for 83 consecutive polls. East Carolina (12-0) entered the national rankings this week at No. 18 (CB), No. 21 (BA) and No. 24 (SW).
Sun Devil fans have the opportunity to get the first 10 cards of the 30-card 2004 ASU Baseball Card set this weekend. The first 500 fans at Friday's 7 p.m. game will receive the first 10 cards of the set. Players highlighted in the first set include Dustin Pedroia, Zechry Zinicola, Jason Urquidez and Joe Persichina. Cards 11-20 (Apr. 4 vs. USC) and 21-30 (May 15 vs. Oregon State) will be given away later in the year.
The East Carolina series will not be broadcast on TV or radio. ASU will return to the airwaves for the Tulane series next weekend with Friday's game (3/12) on the internet only. ASU's next TV game on AZ-TV will be the Pac-10 opener against Cal on Mar. 19. All three games of the ECU-ASU series will be available via the statistical GameTracker on www.TheSunDevils.com.
Did You Know:
Arizona State is currently 5-0 against ranked opponens this year and will be tested with six straight games against ranked opponents. The Devils host No. 18 East Carolina and then No. 8 Tulane. ASU has currently won six straight overall and 16 straight at Packard Stadium. The Devils will play 13 of their first 22 non-conference games against a ranked team.
The Sun Devils (12-2) will face undefeated and No. 18 East Carolina (12-0) this weekend in a three-game set at Packard Stadium. The Devils have won six straight and will be facing the first of six straight games against a ranked opponent. ASU's starting pitching has combined to go 7-1 with a 2.97 ERA. Jason Urquidez (4-0, 1.17 ERA) will move up to start Saturday's 1 p.m. game.
What's On Tap:
The Sun Devil Baseball team (12-2) continues their 25-game homestand this weekend with a three-game series against undefeated and No. 18 East Carolina (12-0). The Sun Devils have won six straight overall and are off to the second best start during the Pat Murphy era (1995-P). ASU is coming off a solid three-game sweep of Connecticut in which they outscored the Huskies 52-18 in the three-game series. ASU's next six games will come against ranked opponents and the Devils will play 13 games against ranked teams before opening Pac-10 play on Mar. 19 against California.
The Sun Devils enter the weekend series against No. 18 East Carolina (12-0) with a season-high six-game winning streak. The streak started with a 7-0 victory over Memphis and also includes victories over No. 1 Rice (Feb. 22; 3-1) and No. 16 Arizona (Feb. 26; 4-0). During ASU's six-game win streak the Devils have combined to hit .362 at the plate with 66 runs scored and 10 of the season total 12 home runs. The pitchers have been especially hot during the winning streak, combining for a 2.33 ERA, giving up only 14 earned runs and striking out 55 in 54.0 IP. Sophomore Travis Buck leads ASU hitting .545 (12-for-22) during the streak.
The Sun Devils had a piece of history come to an end when their NCAA record 506 consecutive games scoring streak came to an end Feb. 15 against Oklahoma. The Sooners ended a streak that began April 8, 1995, a day after the USC Trojans shut out the Sun Devils during Pat Murphy's first year at ASU. "The Streak" saw the Devils go 338-167-1 during the 506-game stretch, scoring 4,755 runs (9.40 per game average) from 1995-2004. The Devils made history on April 7, 2001 when they scored at least one run in their 350th consecutive game, breaking the 12-year-old NCAA record exactly six years to the day when they were last shut out. ASU was shut out 9-0 in that game on April 7, 1995 at Dedeaux Field by left-hander Randy Flores. Coastal Carolina previously held the NCAA record at 349 games set from 1983-1989. ASU also had a stretch of 278 games without being shut out from 1990 to 1994, meaning the program has only been shutout in four games dating back to the 1990 season. Notable pitchers the Devils have faced during the streak include Mark Prior (USC), Jeremy Guthrie (Stanford), Barry Zito (USC), Kirk Saarloos (CS Fullerton), Jason Young (Stanford), Ben Diggins (Arizona), Adam Johnson (CS Fullerton), Ryan Drese (Cal), Jeff Weaver (Fresno State), Chad Hutchinson (Stanford), Abe Alvarez and Adam Pettyjohn (Fresno State). Top prospect David Purcey and Jarod McAuliff led the Sooner to the shutout of the Devils.
Arizona State (12-2) moved up one spot in each the ESPN/Sports Weekly and Collegiate Baseball polls from No. 7 to No. 6 after going 4-0 last week. With six straight wins and a 5-0 record against ranked opponents, ASU also moved up two spots to No. 10 by Baseball America and one spot to No. 7 by NCBWA. Ranked for the 83rd consecutive week dating back to the start of the 2000 season, cracked the national top 10 in all four polls for the first time this season. ASU entered the 2004 season ranked in all four of the national preseason polls (#7 CB, #10 SW, #11 NCBWA, #18 BA). ASU finished the 2003 season with a 54-14 record and earned a consensus top 10 ranking in all four national polls.
Sun Devil juniors Dustin Pedroia and Jeff Larish earned preseason All-America honors from every publication. Pedroia earned first-team honors from the NCBWA, Collegiate Baseball, CollegeBaseballInsider.com, and was a third-team pick by Baseball America. He was also selected as the preseason pick for Pac-10 Player of the Year by Baseball America. Larish, who moves to the outfield for the 2004 season, was a first-team pick by Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America, CollegeBaseballInsider.com, and was a second-team pick by the NCBWA. Larish was also selected as the preseason College Baseball Player of the Year by Street & Smith's.
Buck's Hot Hitting Land Pac-10 and National Player of the Week Honors:
Sophomore right fielder Travis Buck (Richland, Wash.) had a career weekend at the plate going 10-for-12 (.833) with six runs, five doubles, one home run and 13 RBI in three games against UConn. He was honored with his second career Pac-10 Player of the Week honor and was also named the Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week. Buck's big weekend included a 4-for-5 performance with a school-record tying four doubles (2/28) and a 5-for-5 game with a career-high eight RBI on Sunday. For the season Buck is hitting .417 (20-for-48) with 17 runs, eight doubles, two home runs and leads the team with 23 RBI and 16 walks. His 10 hits vs. UConn raised his season batting average 139 points from .278 to .417.
Tough Against Ranked Teams:
The Sun Devils are off to a good 12-2 start after the three-game sweep of UConn, but also hold an impressive 5-0 record against ranked opponents. ASU is scheduled to play 22 non-conference games before heading into conference play against California (Mar. 19-21) and will have played 13 of those games against teams that have appeared in the national rankings. ASU has already swept No. 18 Florida State (Feb. 6-8) to open the season and also beat No. 1 Rice (3-1, Feb. 22) and No. 16 Arizona (4-0, Feb. 26). Both of ASU's losses have also come against teams that have appeared in at least one top 25 polls this year (Oklahoma and Lamar). The Devils schedule gets even tougher in the next two weeks when undefeated and No. 18 East Carolina comes to town this weekend and No. 8 Tulane travels to Tempe for a three-game weekend series (Mar. 12-14).
Four Sun Devils are currently riding hitting streaks of five or more games. Freshman Colin Curtis leads the team with a nine-game hitting streak, hitting .393 (11-for-28) with seven runs, nine RBI and three home runs during the stretch of games. Here is a look at the streaking Devils:
Player Current Streak Statistics During Streak Colin Curtis 9 Games .393, 11-for-28, 7 R, 9 RBI, 1 2B, 3 HR Dustin Pedroia 8 Games .515, 17-for-33, 13 R, 11 RBI, 5 2B, 2 HR Jeff Larish 5 Games .381, 8-for-21, 6 R, 7 RBI, 3 2B, 1 HR Nick Walsh 5 Games .500, 5-for-10, 5 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB
Scouting East Carolina:
East Carolina Baseball | 2004 Stats | Roster
East Carolina heads to Tempe with a perfect 12-0 record and cracked the national polls at No. 18 (Collegiate Baseball) and No. 21 (Baseball America). They have advanced to five straight NCAA tournaments, including a super regional in 2001. Outfielder Darryl Lawhorn was the preseason pick for conference player of the year and is hitting .220 (9-for-41) with two home runs after 12 games. Lawhorn's twin brother, Trevor, is tied for the team lead with five homers. Senior center fielder Ryan Jones is the reigning Conference USA Player of the Week and leads ECU hitting .424 (14-for-33) with five doubles, five home runs and nine RBI. The strongpoint of ECU is the pitching staff, which bolsters an impressive 1.55 ERA, holding opponents to a .191 batting average and striking out 110 in 110 innings. ECU is coming off a 4-0 weekend, including a pair of wins over #11 Clemson and Georgia Southern. The Sun Devils and Pirates will be meeting for the first time.
Bring On Conference USA:
The Devils begin a stretch of six straight against teams from Conference USA. ASU also played and beat Memphis (7-0) in the Rice Coca-Cola Classic on Feb. 21. ASU has not met a Conference USA member team in the regular season since 2001 when they hosted South Florida to a three-game series. ASU also played Houston twice at Hohokam Park in Mesa during the 2002 NCAA Regionals. ASU is 16-3 all-time against Conference USA member schools.
A Tale of Two Sundays:
From one Sunday to another, the Arizona State baseball program was the buzz of the college baseball world. On Sunday, Feb. 15, the Devils saw their NCAA record 506 consecutive games scoring streak come to an end in a 6-0 shutout by the University of Oklahoma at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Ariz. The streak spanned parts of nine seasons dating back to April 7, 1995 and blew away the old record of 349 set by Coastal Carolina. Just one week later, on Feb. 22, the Devils stunned No. 1 Rice in a 3-1 victory at Reckling Park, ending an 18-game winning streak by ace pitcher Jeff Niemann. Niemann, regarded as the top pitching prospect in the nation, had not lost a decision dating back to the end of the 2002 season, including a 17-0 record as a sophomore. ASU pitcher Jason Urquidez was named the National Pitcher of the Week for his complete-game, three-hit victory over the defending national champion Owls.
Pedroia Off To Torrid Start:
Junior shortstop Dustin Pedroia leads the team hitting .475 (28-for-59) with 23 runs scored, 10 doubles, two home runs and 15 RBI. He has hits in 13 of ASU's 14 games, including eight multi-hit affairs and four games with two or more doubles. Coming off his second career Pac-10 Player of the Week honor, Pedroia hit .353 (6-for-17) in ASU's four games last week, including a grand slam home run in the 16-5 victory over UConn (2/28). As a sophomore, Pedroia hit .404 (120-for-297) and was named the Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year. He led the NCAA with 34 doubles, setting the ASU and Pac-10 single-season record and tied for third all-time in the NCAA record books. With 10 doubles, he now has 57 in his career, tying for sixth in the ASU career record books. A career .389 (230-for-592) hitter, Pedroia ranks fourth in the ASU career record books. He has played and started all 140 games of his Sun Devil career and has recorded at least one hit in 120 games (86%). Additionally, the 2003 Collegiate Baseball Defensive Player of the Year has made only 16 errors in 597 total chances in the field for a career. 973 fielding percentage. He was a two-year starter for the USA Baseball National Team and was named to the all-tournament team in the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Pedroia and Urquidez Sweep Pac-10 Awards:
Arizona State juniors Dustin Pedroia and Jason Urquidez swept the weekly Pac-10 Baseball Awards (Feb. 24) after helping the No. 7 Sun Devils to a 3-1 record with wins over Gonzaga, Memphis and Rice. Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) earned his second Pac-10 Player of the Week award in his career after hitting .688 (11-for-16) with six runs, three doubles, one home run and five RBI. He had three doubles in a 4-for-5 performance against Gonzaga (2/16) and hit his first home run of the year to lead off the game against Lamar (2/20). Urquidez (Simi Valley, Calif.) swept the national awards, also earning Collegiate Baseball, Sports Weekly and College Baseball Insider National Pitcher of the Week honors with his victory over No. 1 and defending national champion Rice. He struck out seven and walked only two in a complete-game, three-hit victory over the Owls. The Player of the Week honor is the second for Pedroia in his career, and the 72nd selection all-time for Arizona State. The Pitcher of the Week honor is the first ever for Urquidez, and the 47th selection all-time for Arizona State.
Urquidez Named To Clemens Award Watch List:
Arizona State starting pitcher Jason Urquidez is part of a list of 40 hurlers who are included in the first Roger Clemens Award Watch List. The list is comprised of all Division I pitchers who were named as pre-season All-Americans by either Baseball America or Collegiate Baseball, in addition to those pitchers who have been honored so far this season as National Pitchers of the Week. Urquidez earned national POW honors from Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA, Sports Weekly and CollegeBaseballInsider.com. He was also named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week after his complete-game three-hitter against No. 1 and defending national champion Rice Owls at Reckling Park in Houston last weekend. A junior college transfer from Central Arizona, Urquidez is 4-0 with a 1.17 ERA. In its inaugural year, The Roger Clemens Award will be presented to the nation's top college pitcher at the conclusion of a gala dinner in Houston on July 15.
For the third year in a row the Sun Devils started the season with a perfect 3-0 record and for only the third time in the last 10 years ASU has at least 12 wins after 14 games. Since Pat Murphy took over the program in 1995, the Sun Devils have won nine of 10 season openers and have swept the first three games in eight seasons. The Devils set a school record last year when they opened with a 28-1 record. The 12-2 start is tied for the second best during the Murphy era. Here is a look at how ASU has fared in games 12-20 during the Murphy era:
Games 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 12 9-3 10-2 7-5 10-2 11-1 10-2 11-1 8-4 11-1 10-2 13 10-3 11-2 8-5 10-3 11-2 11-2 11-2 8-5 12-1 11-2 14 11-3 11-3 9-5 11-3 11-3 11-3 12-2 9-5 13-1 12-2 15 12-3 12-3 9-6 12-3 12-3 11-4 13-2 10-5 14-1 --- 16 13-3 13-3 9-7 12-4 12-4 12-4 13-3 11-5 15-1 --- 17 14-3 13-4 9-8 12-5 13-4 13-4 13-4 12-5 16-1 --- 18 14-4 13-5 10-8 13-5 14-4 14-4 13-4-1 13-5 17-1 --- 19 15-4 13-6 11-8 13-6 15-4 15-4 14-4-1 14-5 18-1 --- 20 16-4 14-6 12-8 14-6 16-4 16-4 15-4-1 15-5 19-1 ---
Pedroia Times Two:
Junior shortstop Dustin Pedroia is a doubles machine. Through ASU's first 14 games, Pedroia has 10 doubles. He has picked up right where he left off in 2003, setting an ASU and Pac-10 record while leading the NCAA with 34 doubles. In 140 career games, the Woodland, Calif., native has 57 doubles to rank tied for sixth in the ASU record books. He has averaged .41 doubles per game over his career and has a career batting average of .389.
Urquidez Tames No. 1 Rice To Earn National Pitcher of the Week Honors:
Junior starting pitcher Jason Urquidez was named the Collegiate Baseball National Pitcher of the Week after his complete-game three-hitter against No. 1 and defending national champion Rice on Sunday. Urquidez, a junior college transfer from Central Arizona, limited the top-ranked Owls to only one run on three hits, while striking out seven and walking only one. He gave up his only run in his 138-pitch effort with a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning. With his third victory of the year, Urquidez went head-to-head with and beat the nation's top pitching prospect in Rice ace Jeff Niemann. Niemann recorded his first loss since late in the 2002 season after going 17-0 as a sophomore in 2003.
Larish Starting To Heat Up:
It will be hard for junior left fielder Jeff Larish to match his sensational 2003 season when he hit .372 (87-for-234) with 18 home runs and 95 RBI. Larish, who is at his third position as a Sun Devil in as many years (3B in 2002, 1B in 2003), is hitting .263 (15-for-57) with six doubles, 13 RBI and is second on the team with 14 walks. Over his last four games he is hitting .389 (7-for-18), including his first homer of the year (UConn; 2/29). Last season, Larish became only the second Sun Devil to join the 70-70 club (RBI-BB) when he had 95 RBI (fifth most in ASU history) and led the NCAA with 78 walks. The Tempe native is a career .348 (135-for-388) hitter with 125 RBI and 116 walks (.495 on-base percentage and 1096 OPS). The 2004 preseason All-American is listed as a top prospect for the annual June Amateur Draft by Baseball America.
Pitching To Perfection:
The Sun Devil pitching staff has been a big reason behind ASU's solid 12-2 start to the season. Returning only two pitchers from last year's staff that ranked first in the Pac-10 and eighth in the nation with a 3.32 ERA, ASU has relied primarily on its younger pitchers to build a solid 3.24 ERA. Junior Jason Urquidez leads the team with a 4-0 record and a 1.17 ERA. He has struck out 24 batters in 23.0 IP and opponents are hitting only .190 off him. During ASU's current six-game winning streak, the pitching staff has combined for a 2.33 ERA giving up only 14 earned runs and striking out 55 in 54.0 IP.
Of the 11 pitchers that have seen action on the mound this season, nine are wearing a Sun Devil uniform for the first time. All but 24.0 of the 125.0 IP have been newcomers to the Sun Devil pitching staff... and they have helped ASU to the first sweep of FSU in school history and a solid 12-2 start. Six of the nine are freshmen (Josh Blake, Quentin Andes, Pat Cassa, Pat Bresnehan, Travis Webb, Zechry Zinicola), with three others transfers (Jeff Mousser, Jason Urquidez, Ty Marotz). Sophomore left-handers Brett Bordes (1-0, 8.31 ERA) and Erik Averill (1-0, 3.52 ERA) are the lone returnees on Chris Sinacori's staff that finished with a 3.32 ERA in 2003.
Bresnehan On Fire On The Mound:
Freshman pitcher Pat Bresnehan (Sherborn, Mass.) has been impressive in his last three outings picking up a pair of wins and a save. The hard-throwing right-hander has recorded 17 strikeouts and six hits in his last three appearances against Gonzaga (2/16), Arizona (2/24) and UConn (2/28). He got the save against Arizona with five strikeouts in three scoreless and hitless innings. For the season, Bresnehan is 3-0 with one save and a 2.08 ERA in a team-high six appearances. He was 23rd round draft pick of the Kansas City Royals out of Dover-Sherborn High School and played for the USA Baseball Junior National Team during his prep career.
One Tough Schedule:
The Sun Devils are in the midst of a brutally tough 56-game regular season schedule that has a SoS (strength of schedule) rated No. 12 in the nation (www.Boydsworld.com). ASU is scheduled to play 24 games against teams that were listed on Baseball America's preseason top 25 and another 15 games against teams that were listed in the top 50. The Devils will also play 54% (30 of 56) of their games against teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year and 71% (40 of 56) against teams that have advanced to the postseason in either of the last two years. ASU finished the 2003 season with a 54-14 record and an overall RPI ranked 12th in the nation. The 2004 schedule features six schools that are picked to finish first in their respective conferences: Stanford (Pac-10), Rice (WAC), Wichita State (Missouri Valley Conference), Oral Roberts (Mid-Continent), Tulane (Conference USA), Lamar (Southland).
Home Sweet Home:
Sun Devil baseball has a built in advantage when playing in front of the best college baseball fans on the West Coast. Routinely leading the West Coast in average attendance, ASU has turned in a 172-50-1 (.774) in home games dating back to 1998. ASU has played at Packard Stadium since 1974, having only played the 2002 season at Hohokam Park in Mesa away from the on-campus baseball facility. ASU has an all-time 826-235-1 record at Packard Stadium, including an 8-0 mark in 2004 and having won 16 straight dating back to the UCLA series in 2003. ASU is scheduled to play 34 home games at Packard Stadium this year, including a current string of 25 straight from Feb. 24-Apr. 12. The Devils recorded their 800th career victory at Packard Stadium against Penn State (3/1) last year. Here is a look at how ASU has faired in home games dating back to 1998:
Arizona State in Home Games (1998-2004): 2004: 8-0 2003: 31-7 2002: 29-10 2001: 25-9-1 2000: 33-8 1999: 27-7 1998: 19-9 Total: 172-50-1